Thursday, September 6, 2007

Steens Mountain Descent

At the point where the summit's spur road re-joins the loop road, we have a choice: 26 miles back to Frenchglen on the South Loop road we came on (boring) or to take the 18-mile North Loop road, which includes a treacherous 4 mile stretch of road called the "Rooster Comb."

Warning! Rooster Comb!

Being the daring people we were, we took the Rooster Comb. Of course, Darrick's enthusiasm for doing this was influenced by the fact that I was the one driving, and not him. If it's even possible, this road was even more dusty than the other dirt roads we'd been on... probably because this one was truly non-maintained -- not even a nice bed of gravel to drive on in the Rooster Comb section... just red dirt.

Just a little dust...

There were a couple nice places to turn out and take pictures along the way, so we did.

Dead Tree Series

Driving down the Rooster Comb was a bit stressful. The combination of trying to keep the car at a reasonable speed without burning up the brakes, engine, or transmission or popping a tire or three takes an awful lot of concentration. In the end, I accomplished this best by putting the car in 4L and 2nd gear, and more or less letting the thing coast and engine brake down the hill. We got AWESOME gas mileage doing this -- something like 4mpg. Hot.

The Rooster Comb

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